David Fitch has a stimulating and provocative post entitled, "Pluralism and the Witness of an Open Community". This, probably along with other reading, set me to thinking more about what we're to be, as those together in Jesus, in this world.
Jesus, in his Incarnation, God becoming flesh/human, brought a revolution into this world that, in the end, brings in the new creation through the coming of God's kingdom. And it's not something that's dropped out of the sky. But worked, incarnationally through God's people in Jesus, even now. Jesus dwells among us, and in us. So this work of God is from person to person. From people to other people. Through God's people in this world.
I like to think of it as face to face. Not in your face. Being there, as a humble community, to be Christ to the world. Even in our own incompleteness, and in the midst of our own ongoing transformation from our brokenness.
This means I can befriend and be there for anyone in this world. And we as the community of God in Christ can do the same. Taking in everyone. Knowing that for us all, it is Christ among us who makes the difference, period.
This incarnational community is Christ's Body in the world. It is thus more than a face to face community. It's also a bodily community for this world. Giving ourselves in love, as servants of God and servants of all. Offering our complete selves to God in worship and service. Living this kind of embodied existence in this world. So that we're there to help others. To express God's love to them in deed and word. That they might see Christ in and among us.
What would you add to these thoughts? How can this "face to face" reality help us? In our conflicts, even together as church? As well as in our mission to our neighbor, in this world?